Early Childhood Development (ECD) remains a critical point for the country’s social and economic transformation and development. It is recognised that healthy ECD strongly influences wellbeing, confidence, growth inhibition, mental health, heart disease, competence in literacy and numeracy, criminality, and economic participation throughout life.
A very proud group of ECD Practitioners celebrated the successful completion of their NQF level 4 ECD training at a graduation ceremony where they received their Further Education and Training Certificates.
“The course was challenging, but now I can say with pride that that my knowledge of ECD was built to the extreme and I am already implementing what I have learnt,” said Natasha Visagie, ECD NQF Level 4 Graduate, Disney Centre, Sea Vista.
Having commenced their training in 2016, this is an important milestone in their journey to fulfilling the Department of Social Development’s requisite that strongly advises that there should be at least one practitioner with an ECD NQF Level 4 qualification at each site. Furthermore, it is expected that this will soon be a basic requirement for the registration of an ECD site.
“Investment in the development, care and protection of children’s needs, is a priority for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, as it is our vision to ensure these centres can truly support the holistic development of children and prepare them well for Grade R,” said Hlengiwe Radebe, Economic Development Director for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
The results of this programme have been remarkable. Practitioners were very motivated and conscientious and achieved an overall attendance rate at training sessions of well above 90%.
“I found the assignments about the children incredibly valuable, as well as the Maths Literacy module, which I enjoyed as it refreshed my knowledge,” commented Nokuphumla Dela, Umzamomhle Day Care Centre, Hankey.
Following an audit of 20 ECD centres in the Eastern Cape during 2014, Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm began funding the implementation of a developmental programme that has included ECD Practitioner training, mentoring and support programmes, ECD compliance and governance, infrastructure, as well as the provision of equipment and classroom resources.
The participating ECD centres support communities in Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay, Westin, Thornhill, Sea Vista, Patensie and Hankey. Stakeholders and ECD centres were identified through consultation with the Eastern Cape Education and Social Development Departments.
Structured, qualitative interviews were conducted with key stakeholders. An extensive amount of detailed interviews were conducted with the centres. In addition, interviews were carried out with NPOs, the Departments of Education and Social Development; the South African Police Services; the Education Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) provincial office and the local municipal offices.